How big’s yours?

by | Oct 3, 2016

I can’t write this without admitting to being of a certain age. The age where things age, drop or pack up, and being from a family where the optical genes have always been questionable, I find myself needing more and more glasses. I have the everyday ones, the reading ones, the sun ones and let’s not forget the special PC ones designed for use with data. I’m not joking. “How many eyes does one person need?” is a regular taunt in my house.

This means that I find myself regularly challenged by teeny tiny printing. And the not so teeny tiny. What I’ve found though is that the worst offenders are those that want to keep something a bit quiet. Questionable ingredients, terms and conditions, prices.

If this is the case and if the fact that so many of us struggle to read stuff like this, why do charities continue to print donation forms on a third or quarter of one side, including a Gift Aid declaration, credit card details and the DP statement.

How? How is this possible?

If I didn’t know any better I’d say we had something to hide, or we go all the two or three pages of letter and shopping list and at the point we have to ask for the money, our innate Britishness takes over and we get all coy. Like Billy Bunter at a lap dancing club. Well I never!

Is this habit giving the wrong impression? Are we accidentally suggesting we’re untrustworthy?

In the past I’ve been on the outskirts of A4 test, where the donation form is made a full side. Roughly speaking it’s a two page letter, a one page shopping list and one page donation form. What’s interesting though is rarely have I see a true A4 donation form. Font size is never bigger, DP statements and Gift Aid declarations are still approximately the same size as before, often cramped within a box that gives the impression they are still stuck down the bottom of the page.

Same day different gravy.

Here’s a radical idea; what if you stripped out everything unnecessary and just put what was needed to make a donation. In lovely big letters and big boxes for your card details – maybe even big, unadorned Gift Aid and DP statements so I can properly read what I’m agreeing to.

What are you afraid of? By the time the supporter has found the donation form, they’ve already made the decision to support, making it easy to do so isn’t likely to stop them is it?

“Marjorie, have you seen this? This blasted charity has made the donation form legible. Well, that’s it, I’m not donating. Not until they put back that form that requires the Hubble telescope to read it.”

When you think of it like that, it seems ridiculous. Now all we need is someone to start the ball rolling.

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